Is your jello sticking to the wall yet? Psalm 32:8 Part 1: Instruct

Are you adding your own nails to make i
stick? How is that working for you?

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. ” — Psalm 32:8 (NASB)

Do you feel like you are trying everything and nothing is working right? Are you like me and you want to know where to go next, what to do? Am I on the right path? These days we have Google Maps to talk to us and to say turn right or left in 1.1 miles. But what about our life? Are you throwing jello against the wall to see what sticks? Are you adding your own nails to make it stick? How is that working for you? Are you are going in all directions, picking up everything you can, to see what works. Is the stress relieved, has peace and joy returned? Don’t you wish you had someone to tell you in 1.1 miles decide to do this or not to do it? Psalm 32 tells us that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will do just that.

Psalm 32 reminds that God will instruct, teach, and counsel us.

Instruct means to provide understanding, insight, show what to pay attention to, show what you need to focus your mind on. The instructor is passing on his wisdom, knowledge, expertise, skill in order for the person to be successful in what they are doing. The concept of the expert instructing the apprentice is illustrated here. The expert imparts not only knowledge, but skill and wisdom. It denotes the concept of the instructor being circumspect or seeing everything in all directions and being able to tell you what you need to highlight and/or give attention to. The one instructed will become wise, prudent, skillful, have incite regarding the situations, and be able to discern what to do and when to do it, This wisdom and knowledge is not from the person but is a result of the instruction.

Do you feel like you are flying blind? Have you gotten somewhere and don’t know how to land?

Have you ever put something together and ended up with ‘spare’ parts(scary!)? Or tried to skip some of the instruction steps in a Lego build only to have take it a part and backtrack to where you went off on your own? Do you feel like you are flying blind? Have gotten somewhere and don’t know how to land? Now I know sometimes we try to ‘shortcut’ the directions. But what usually happens is we have parts left over or we reach a point where we need to redo to make the parts fit properly. Either way, we have wasted time and energy. The finished product may not work the best or worse yet, not work at all. I usually end up with frustration, stress, disappointment, anger (lot of negative thoughts!). When someone instructs us it is like reading the directions. If only I had followed the directions. If only I had humbled myself to receive instruction.

“But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.” — Proverbs 21:11 (NASB)

The word ‘wise’ is the same word for ‘instruct’ used in Psalm 32. It is a verb, “sakal”, which means there is ‘action’ required. There is also a link to the person doing the instruction and the one receiving instruction. There has to be a relationship. God knows just how to instruct us, but we need to be willing to be instructed. God is the only one with complete circumspection of our life. Without His instruction we are throwing the jello against the wall. Without God’s instructions we tend to focus in all directions, with no purpose. We lack understanding and knowledge of what is going on in our life and why things are happening to us. All our efforts are in vain. We may feel like our thoughts are overwhelming us to the point we cannot “think clearly’. Without clear instruction, energy is spent to keep the ‘plates spinning’ in our life with no victory in sight. We tend have the same dramas repeated over and over in our life.

“When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.”– Psalm 32:3 (NASB)

The result was forgiveness, preservation and
deliverance. God’s living waters of forgiveness
could flow in his life
.

David wrote Psalm 32. It is described as a ‘contemplative happy’ song. However, in the beginning David is not happy. David describes how sin was ‘heavy upon me’. The weight of the sin was draining his ‘vitality’. He describes his body as ‘wasting away’ . It wasn’t just because of sin, but because he ‘kept silent’ (Psalm 32:3) If you keep sin silent and hidden, it will devour you physically, mentally, and emotionally. David describes how blessed and fortunate he was when he did not keep his sin hidden, but acknowledged it to God. (Psalm 32: 5). The result was forgiveness, preservation, and deliverance. God’s living waters of forgiveness could flow in his life. This forgiveness opened the doorway of David’s heart and soul to be instructed by God and the Holy Spirit.

Sin made it so that David could not hear, understand, and obey God’s clear instructions. The relationship was blocked. The same is true of us today. When we have sin that we have not confessed we cannot hear God’s voice clearly. We are numb to the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us to Jesus Christ. We cannot hear instructions clearly. We read the Bible and lack understanding.

God sees what we are facing in all directions in our life and He knows what is ahead of us. God created us and knows our talents, strengths and weaknesses. He knows how to instruct us. The Holy Spirit is leading and guiding us to Jesus and His forgiveness. When we confess our sins and ask for the forgiveness that Jesus Christ provided for us through His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, the relationship is fully restored. The sin that was blocking the flow of God’s instructions in our hearts and minds is removed. The relationship between the instructor and the apprentice is restored. Jesus becomes not just our savior, but the Lord of our life. The word of God, the Bible, becomes our blue print, our instructions, that we can understand and receive in our hearts and mind.

Where are you looking for instructions regarding your life? Who is instructing you? Do you have ‘hidden’ sin that is blocking your relationship with Jesus?

Prayer:

Dear Jesus

I acknowledge my sin (___________________) to you. I acknowledge my immoral thoughts and actions. I confess my transgressions. I confess that my heart has rebelled against you and your Word. I ask for forgiveness of my sins. I ask for you to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9). I accept the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross to cleanse me from sin. I desire Lord Jesus to have my relationship with you restored. Holy Spirit please guide me in the instructions of God’s word. Bring to my remembrance all that God’ has instructed. (John 14:26) I pray that my heart and spirit will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit guidance and conviction of anything that is hindering my relationship with Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:5) Amen

But God

But God……..

But God, I want….

But God, do this…

But God, shouldn’t we do…

But God, this is the situation…

But God, why?

When we hear these words or see them written, they are usually followed by a cry of God help! I need_____________. I want________________. As a mom we here similar cries from our children. They usually occur when we tell our kids, “Hey we need to go do such and such”. Or “time to clean your room.” Or “time to do your homework.” Then becomes the all too familiar cries that sound like a crying animal, “BUT MOM!” In desperation they begin to plea their case of what they need and want. The pleas also come up when your child wants to go someplace, with some people, and do something. Mom says no and then hear comes the cries, “BUT MOM!” I recognize that throughout my Christian life, I have had times when I had similar cries to God. But maybe just maybe, I should have not concentrated on my cries, or the part after my plea. Maybe I should be concentrating on “But God.”

What does But God ….. mean?

The word ‘but’ is a conjunction that joins to things. So what are joining with God when we say “But God?”

In the Old Testament the words ‘but God’ was a phrase where the 2 words stood for one meaning. The phrase was usually used to describe times when man or rulers thought they were in control. Jacob was working for Laban. Laban changed Jacob’s wages ‘but God’ kept him from harming Jacob.(Genesis 31:7)

The word for God used here was specifically the name ‘Elohiym.’ Elohiym is first used in Geneses 1:1 “In the beginning, God…” The name ‘Elohiym’ for God includes God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In other words, Jacob had all the power of the trinity working on his behalf in these two small words “But God”.

In the New Testament, God is ‘Theos” the Greek word for Elohiym. The words for ‘but’ change depending on the comparision. “BUT” can show a comparison. It also showed a exponential comparison.

I know that people have written books about telling how their life is different because of God. God intervened and changed their life from one path to another. I can’t imagine what things would be like without God in my life. What if I had not accepted Jesus into my heart and His forgiveness on the cross. Even with this acceptance and forgiveness, as a Christian we still go through struggles. It is usually during these times of struggle that my tone is one like our frustrated children. So maybe it is our tone we should examine when we cry out ” But God”. I usually have a complaining attittude… But God why do I have go do this now. But God why is life so hard. Or maybe you are like me and just say the words with a pleading voice of the frustrated toddler “But God I want this” Or “But God I was good right so let me have this or change that or I promise never to do it again.” So much can be communicated in 2 simple words.

Maybe I should concentrate on the ‘But, God.’ rather than my situation. No more words, no more dots for etc. Just (deep breath) ‘But, God’.(deep breath out) (period). Allow the full impact of who God is to permeate my heart, mind, body, spirit. Allow Him to be God in full power and glory in the situation and in my heart and mind. Recognize that without God, nothing can occur. Recognize that though I face what looks like like an impossible situation, God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in all their power and glory are working in the situation. “But God” is with me, “But God” goes before me, “But God” loves me beyond all understanding. Recognize that when I look at the odds, I need to remember the “But God” factor which trumps all my mental rationalization of the situation.

Blessings in Our Lives

Grandma's Special Herbs

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us“— 2 Corinthians 4:7

As we enter the Thanksgiving season, I am reminded of legacy. Thanksgiving is traditionally a time of remembering family and the blessings we have. Taking time to remember those blessings can be the challenge. We are so busy with every day life of errands and work and school that we may miss the everyday blessings that God has provided for us. Little things done today, impact the events of tomorrow and ultimately the next generation. But what are we passing on? Are we so overwhelmed with the cares and struggles in our lives that we are missing the blessings? Are the things we are passing on things that last for a moment, a season, or eternity? Are they truly treasures? Are we taking time to unearth the blessings in our lives?

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”                                —-2 Corinthians 4:8-9channeled-whelk

Sometimes we need to hold on to our treasure as the waves crash around us.

It is only then we realize what we are holding onto, what is deep and buried just under the sand, what comes not from ourselves but from Jesus and our relationship with Him,—- is the true treasure.

Are we passing on–how to have peace amidst the stormlove when faced with adversity…. perseverance to stay the coursejoy that comes from God that gives us strength to see joy amidst the everyday struggles and routinesgrace for the moment

To take the time to count our blessings may mean digging away the sand that is keeping it hidden and allowing the waves to wash away the rough edges to make it smooth. We may not recognize the treasure for what it is. We may only see the tip or the edge. It may appear broken and insignificant, but God sees the treasure and the blessings that is beneath. If we allow Him, Jesus has the power to slowly move away the sand and wash away the dirt and reveal the hidden treasure that was there all the time. True treasures transcend our lifetime.  True treasures lay a foundation for our children to stand on and build upon. True treasures and blessings come not from us but from what Jesus has done for us and within us. The power is from Jesus and not from us.

 

 

 

Crystal Coast Gem- Treasures in the Sand

cape lookout pic
My husband took this great picture of Cape Lookout lighthouse as we came up to the Island.

Cape Lookout“Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen” (Psalm 77:19, NIV)

 

I love the beach. I love looking for shells. The Outer Banks has great shells. Whelks and whole sand dollars, sea treasures abound. As a family we planned to visit Cape Lookout and enjoy the day which included a road trip to the ‘point’. The ‘point’ is where the ocean and sound meet. It is a mixture of waves going all directions as the currents flowing in and out of the banks find their lane so to speak. My plan was to find sea treasures the and enjoy the kids all together at one time. Shells can be elusive and the waves can claim the treasures. The road trip started out great, looking at the maritime forest, the village where people lived out on the island only few years ago with no grocery store or Walmart or restaurants! They had a one room school house for the island kids.

stuck in sand
Our Driver was great, good attitude!

 

Then we hit the soft sand and suddenly stopped. We were stuck. Every one climbed out and we moved the vehicle and went a few more feet and we were stuck again. We decided to leave the trailer and take only a few to the ‘point’ at a time. Frustrated that we would not reach our goal of the elusive ‘point’, I prayed, “Ok , God for once I will enjoy the ‘now’, the journey. I will not focus on the destination but on the process. It is beautiful day and the waves and tide pools are great and the kids are having fun.” So, I hopped out and started looking down and around. There were shells everywhere, whelks galore! I was so excited.

THE POINT

Cape_Lookout_Point_-_2013-06_-_09
When ocean and sound meet, water goes crazy!

 

We were the last ones to leave the area to go to the ‘point’. When we arrived, I was expecting more sea treasures, but there were none. I asked others and they did not find any when they arrived. We wondered around to the sound side. Looking into the water, a sand dollar glistened. My son and I started wading out and more sand dollars appeared. We were so excited! Sometimes the treasures are just beneath the surface. Some times it requires moving off the safety of dry land and heading into the unknown waters to find the treasures.

CRYSTAL COAST GEM

Sometimes the struggles of the journey reap the greatest treasures. In our eyes getting stuck or delayed on our way to the destination is an inconvenience, a nuisance, a frustration, disappointment. We only had a little time on the island and my thought was we are going to spend the whole time “STUCK”. God had other plans. Sometimes, getting ‘stuck’ is part of the plan. It may be a key part of the journey that you cannot understand. God knows where the treasures are. The delay is necessary to find the treasures you want and need in your life. Keeping calm and looking for the blessings among the struggle reaped a blessed day with the kids and sea treasures as well.

cropped-10982295_672614866197934_3871620920936017058_n.jpg
OK, These are not the shells we found, but they look just like them. I forgot to take a picture of all of them together. We also found 10 complete sand dollars and a horseshoe crab shell. Our bag was full! Just like the nets of disciples when Jesus told them to go fishing. They didn’t see the fish, but the fish were there!

Resurrection Egg #9: The Feet of Jesus

Baby feet
“Now, What are we to do with these? “

When I think of feet, I immediately think of cute baby feet. I remember when my kids were born the first think I looked at were the hands and feet. You know ten fingers and ten toes. They were so cute! I still remember my daughter at two and three years old moving her feet back and forth so the nail polish would dry. So cute with her hair in a pony tail and denim dress on. Oh the memories! Then they grow up and the feet aren’t so cute. Then we are not concerned about how cute they are but where are those feet taking our children in life. Where are they going physically, emotionally, spiritually. In the Bible, it seems that feet bring peace but also have the ability to tread over the enemy.

Feet Shod with Peace

He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay; And he set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (Psalm 40:2)

Luke 1:79 states that Jesus will guide our feet in the way of peace. The word guide used means to not only make our way straight but also to remove any hindrances in our path leading to God. The shedding of blood from His feet removed the hindrance of sin that separates us from God.  Ephesians 6:15 tells us that our feet are to be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. It was said that the lame, blind, etc were laid at Jesus feet and He healed them (Matthew 15:30).

Redeemed our Authority

Nails feet 2It is hard to imagine that Jesus had cute baby feet also. He was a baby first. I wonder if Mary was remembering kissing those baby feet as she watched them nailed to the cross. The shedding of blood from Jesus’ feet removed the authority of sin from keeping peace out of our life. 1 Corinthian 15 talks of Jesus putting all authority and our enemies under His feet. Luke 10:19, Jesus says that He gives authority to overcome all the power of the enemy, “nothing will harm you”. The concept of ‘under feet’ is that we are now under the authority and covering of Jesus Christ. It is not our authority that fights our battles, but Jesus’ authority. Praise God!

Prayer

I pray :

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto (Insert name) a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; having the eyes of (Insert name) heart enlightened, that (Insert name) may know what is the hope of (Insert name) calling, what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to that working of the strength of His might which He wrought in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and made Him to sit at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,which is his body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. (Ephesians 1:17-23)

Resurrection Egg #9

 

Resurrection Egg #8: The Hands of Jesus

Resurrection Egg #8In olden times when someone had a debt and then paid that debt off, the person who the owed was owed to would nail the promissory note on the door of the debtor with a note that said “Paid in Full”. After the fall in the Garden of Eden we had a debt of sin. It was debt that we could not repay. As a result, Jesus paid it for us.  Nails were driven through His hands to the cross.

Through His blood a note was nailed to the door of our heart that said “Paid in Full”.

Jesus redeemed our power to succeed, to prosper, and to receive spiritual inheritance. While before the works of our hands were cursed , now they can be blessed. Jesus redeemed the ability to receive. Before our hands were covered in sin, now our hands are holy before God. Our list of transgressions are now Paid in Full.

 Isaiah 49:16, God says He would engrave us on the palm of His hands. We are still there:

“The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25) When Jesus appeared, He told Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands” (John 20:27). He still bears the scars of paying for our sins.

The only way for our salvation is through the blood of Jesus on the cross. On the cross Jesus paid our debt so that we would have the power to enter into His kingdom. He opened the door for us.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Paid in FullThen said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:7

 

 

 

Resurrection Egg #7: Crown of Thorns

 The Great Exchange: Victory in our Mind

I love this picture. It simply shows what God does. It is the Great Exchange (Resurrection Egg #3) He replaces something that is dead and ugly and painful with something new and beautiful. Jesus was given crown of thorns by man. Crowns typically signify royalty and authority. The thorns, however, did not signify either. Christ bled from the head so that we could have healing and peace of mind. He replaced the crown of thorns with a crown that gives us authority over the sinful fruit our mind; worry, anxiety, pride, depression, lust, greed. Jesus promises to replace the crown of thorns with a crown of life, a crown of glory that will not fade and an everlasting crown. Jesus’ crowns give us authority to have full access to His kingdom.

 

crown

Crown of Thorns: aka “PLANTZILLA”

The thorns were supposed to have been two inches long and when placed onto Jesus’ head they cut into His head as they encircled it. As a nurse, I have seen just how the smallest head wound can bleed, much less multiple lacerations that went deep into Jesus’ scalp. The blood would have poured down.

Thorns are considered fruit of branches. (UGLY!) They represent the curse of the earth. The Greek word for thorns that refers to the crown of thorns is the same word that descibed the thorns that choked out the word of God in the parable. If  you have ever had to kill  or remove a vine with thorns. First of all, those vines are insidious. Even with the harshest of weed killers, they seem to thrive and spread. They flourish as they wind themselves around bushes, trees, buildings, anything in their path. They eventually kill the plants they are covering. You can cut them back and they come back with a vengeance. At the beach in North Carolina we have such a vine. I have talked to several people regarding how to remove it and kill it. The only way is cut it back and spray weed killer every year until eventually you can find where the root is. Then you did up the root bulb ( which by the way can be the size of a soccer ball). This process can take 5-10 years to completely remove it. Then you are constantly spraying every year to keep it from returning. It is a very labor intensive process that takes patience and diligence. It is battle between you and PLANTZILLA! Just when you think you have it under control, it shows up on your back deck!

Battling PLANTZILLA

Well, through this battle with PLANTZILLA, God has taught me some things regarding battles of the mind.

  1. PLANTZILLA wants to cover you and strangle you so that you can’t see the sunlight. When our mind is bombarded with thoughts of “you are not worthy”, “what is the use”, “everything you touch is bad”, “you don’t deserve anything but this”, etc. Our mind is so shrouded we cannot see the light of the Word of God. The Word of God says that “We are fearfully and wonderfully made”, “God desires above all things that we prosper and be in good health even as our soul prospers”. People who are depressed talk about being in a ‘dark place’. Jesus wants to move us from that dark place into the light.
  2. PLANTZILLA likes to come back every year. We have sinful patterns in our life that like to repeat themselves. These patterns begin with our thought patterns. These thought patterns govern our actions which determine our results. Ever heard the definition on insanity (another ‘mind’ word). Well, it is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results. To get different results we need to replace the thought pattern. This comes from daily reading the word of God.
  3. PLANTZILLA has a root cause from which it springs. Ok, without God, we may be able to trim back PLANTZILLA and hold him at bay. We may be able to start listening to positive thoughts and positive people in our life and change what is going on around us. Which is good. But not great. The only way we will have complete victory is to remove the root bulb. That is going to take Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It will take prayer and fasting and getting into the Word of God. It will take sacrificing some time for ourself. It will take changing what goes into your mind. What are we reading? What are we watching everyday? It is choosing to listen to God’s voice and we will have victory.

 PLANTZILLA is now plantzilla!

Jesus gave us the power and authority to control our thoughts. We are no longer slaves to them. We are no longer a victim of sinful patterns in our life. Now we can capture every thought and replace them with the Word of God.  We now have the freedom to make right decisions. We have the ability to produce good fruit and not thorns in our life. We have peace of mind. 

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.                 ( 2 Corinthians 10: 3-6, KJV)

Resurrection Egg #7

 

Resurrection Egg #6: By His Stripes

Resurrection Egg #6

MrssizzleWhen my boys were little they had prized stuff animals that they liked to play with. Unfortunately we had a puppy who viewed these animals  not as toys for the boys but prey to be devoured. Many a loved animal fell prey and lost an eye or had an ear chewed. Sometimes they could be repaired, though never fully regaining they former glory. Other times, they were destined to exist with the missing, ear or eye. Anyone who has had a puppy can relate. But we are not stuff animals and when we are hurt we need more than a needle and thread.

Jehovah Rapha: The God who Heals

Like many of you I have often asked “Why aren’t some people healed?” As a nurse, I probably ask this more than most. As a mom who has had a miscarriage, I definitely cried out, “Why!, If you are truly God you could have prevented this!” The Bible states that Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the sick (Matthew 14:14). So I know that Jesus has a heart and feels our pain. One of the names for God is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. It is used 67 times in Old Testament. Healing is part of God’s nature, not just something He does. The prophet Isaiah states that the Messiah, Jesus,  “will open the eyes of the blind and the unstop the ears of the deaf. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” (Isaiah 35:5-6)

By His Stripes We are Healed

He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”(1 Peter 2:24, NIV)

Both Isaiah and 1 Peter use word for healing that mean to make whole, to mend. The word in the Isaiah passage denotes a cobbler stitching to make something whole. Thank God, Jesus sews better than I do. Unlike, my boys’ stuff animals, when He heals He heals completely. He is concerned about healing of heart, mind, and body. Healing and sin are closely tied together. When sin entered the world so did sickness and death. Not all illness is a result of sin. However, we do know that sin can lead to illness. For example, sexual sins have consequences of transmitted diseases. Anger and bitterness are related to stomach ulcers, arthritis, irritable bowels. Stress is related to migraines. Cancers have been associated with alcohol and other unhealthy lifestyles. The list goes on and on. Doctors and nurses both have completed studies that show how the healing the physical body, and the mental and emotional health are closely related. Many times outcomes depend not so much on the right medicine as much as the right attitude of the heart.

On the flip side, many sickness are not related to sin at all. In the Old Testament, there are only 12 reports of individual illness and healing, 8 of them are not the result of sin. Both of the boys raised from the dead by Elijah and Elisha did not die as a result of sin. When Jesus healed the blind man, His disciples asked, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”. Jesus responded with, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:2-3). This disconnect from sin and sickness may explain why diseases attack children and infants that we know have not sinned or led a lifestyle that results with illness. This is one of my biggest struggles, infants and children who are ill. Sometimes, I just have to remind myself of the sovereignty of God.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, NIV)

Transgressions are willful sin. This is sin that is committed with full knowledge that it is wrong. It has the connotation violating a law. Iniquities are sin, guilt, depravity that we were born with. It is man’s bent toward perversion and sin or deviation from the right path. It is our sinful character rather than the action of sin itself.

Jesus healed stripesThe blood Jesus shed seems to have opened the spiritual door to not only forgiveness of sins, but also healing. Jesus reminds us that sickness is a result of the fallen state of man. Jesus himself mentions that He will be flogged as part of the crucifixion and forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 20:19, Mark 10:3, Luke 18:33, John 19:1).

The word, ‘Rapha’, is used 67 times in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the Greek word for physical healing is “therapeuo”. It is translated ‘heal’ 44 times.  That number does not include references for words such as ‘healing’, ‘healed’, ‘make whole’, etc. Obviously, healing is important to God. Matthew 4:23″Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” In conjunction with teaching and preaching, Jesus healed as part of His ministry. Healing flowed out of Him because it is part of His nature.

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. “ (Luke 4:18-19)

 

“Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually].” ( 3 John 1: 2, Amplified)

 

 

 

 

Resurrection Eggs for Adults # 5: Jesus Bled for our Shame

Guilt says : “I did something bad.” the feeling of “doing something wrong

shame pictures of girl
Shame says: I am bad

Shame says: “I am bad.” the feeling of “I am wrong.” Our whole sense of self has eroded. 

Do  you feel flawed or defective? Unworthy of love or belonging or relationships? Feel like an embarrassment? Feel like you are in a dark hole that you cannot escape from? Do you struggle with addictive behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, sex, food? What about feelings of anger or anxiety?

It seems to me that we struggle with guilt and shame more than anything. I admit that I did not have a full understanding of ‘shame’ before researching this Resurrection Egg.

We sin and then we feel guilty. We may ask for God’s forgiveness, but the shame of the sin still lingers. We feel like we can’t reach out to help others, teach others about the gospel of Christ, or “be used by God” because of the ‘shame’ and humiliation that we feel.  “We are unworthy of such honors,” we tell ourselves.

Especially in women we feel shame for feeling shame and the cycle continues. Men get angry for feeling shame and the angry shame cycle continues.

Shame is generational. It is passed from one generation to the next.

Shame is not productive It does not bring repentance or change in belief or behavior. Why?

Because shame is how we View ourselves

Remember the novel, the Scarlet Letter? We may feel that wherever we go we have a Letter A on us just like the girl in the novel, Scarlet Letter.  Shame seems to me to follow sexual sins and indiscretions the most. Hence why Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book the Scarlet Letter, reaches people on many different levels. Hester Prynne, is caught pregnant out of marriage, she is forced to move out of the village and live on her own. She also wears a scarlet letter ‘A’ on all her clothing. ( OK, I read this in high school, so it has been awhile).

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Today, sexual sins and addictions are  rampant. We like to think that there is no consequences in our souls or how we see ourselves. Sex and addictions may be a temporary fix for the loneliness we feel.  A way to establish relationships and fill the dark hole of shame in our life. But then how do we feel about ourselves? The shame is temporary gone, but only to return once the high has gone. Then comes the feeling of defective and wanting to escape. This leads to facing what happened last night which leads to loss of control. When we are caught in sexual sins specifically, we feel like everyone knows or everyone is seeing us as ‘that girl’. Our life is not what we had planned. We wanted something different than our friends or family.  Eventually that letter ‘A’ is not just on outside clothing but has moved to our very core of our being. We are wearing it on our heart and soul. The ‘A’ becomes our identity and pervades our decisions.

Praise God Jesus bled for our Shame!

“I (Jesus) offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. (Isaiah 50: 6-7, KJV) (Matthew 27:30)

Jesus bled from beard

Isaiah was prophesying regarding what Jesus would experience. In Matthew 27:30, Jesus was beaten in the face, mocked, spit upon. Jesus bled so that we are not controlled by the shame. He did not hide his face in shame so we don’t have to! We now longer feel unworthy or lack a sense of belonging. Jesus did not see us as unworthy. He loved us so much that He went through the beating. He bore the shame we may feel.  Jesus did not shun us. He accepts us and forgives us unconditionally. Jesus will be with us and help us and we will not be disgraced. We are not alone. We can trust Jesus and we will not be put to shame. Jesus is our identity!

Resurrection Egg #5

 

 

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #4: The Garden of Gethsemane

 I had a hard time finding a picture for this post. Most portray Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He is calm, almost serene. Hands clasped, face lifted toward heaven. The glory of God is shining down upon Him. Well, I don’t know about you other moms out there but when I am desperately praying for myself or my family. I am just that –desperate. It is not pretty. It is down on my face before God with the tears flowing.

In Matthew 26:38 Jesus tells His disciples,

Jesus in garden with glory
Calm and Serene Jesus

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”

Matthew goes on to say that Jesus “fell on His face, and prayed” (Matthew 26:38).

Luke reports  “And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44)

Luke, the physician, would notice sweat like blood. You can ‘sweat blood’ when you are under extreme pressure. You actually break capillaries in your forehead due to the mental anguish and pain. In fact, the Greek word for agony used in this scripture is only used once in the Bible and this is it. This Greek word for agony, ‘agonia’, is a noun. It does not describe something. It is something. A thing  can be removed, a description can’t. It means a mental and emotional struggle. A wrestling. It was a wrestling that was so intense that God sent an angel to minister to Jesus. (Luke 22:43)

A Struggle for Victory

 Ok, this picture is getting there. I have been here. When you are mentally exhausted and fully given up. Complete obedience.  When we completely surrender. God can minister to us and heal our mind and heart.  Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane what Adam could not do in the Garden of Eden. He said ‘no’ to His flesh and said ‘yes’ to God.  We can now say ‘no’ to sin, bondage, and self seeking actions. Jesus pressed into His destiny rather than backing off. The Garden settled His mind for the road ahead.

Just like God met Jesus in the Garden, He meets us in our prayers and agony as well. God in His mercy will hear our cries and strengthen us for the road ahead. Praise God that Jesus shed his blood in the Garden that we may have Victory over our flesh, specifically our mental and emotional struggles.

 

jesus-in-the-garden
Less Serene, not on His face but there is agony. “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39)

 Resurrection Egg #4